Jonjo O’Neill illustrated his knack for laying out a horse for a big handicap when Soaring Glory swooped to conquer in the Betfair Handicap Hurdle at Newbury on Sunday.
Soars to a decisive victory ??— Newbury Racecourse (@NewburyRacing) February 21, 2021
Soaring Glory travels beautifully throughout, before swooping under a confident ride from @JJONeillJnr ??
A @Betfair Hurdle win for the team at Jacdaws Castle @JonjoONeill ?????? pic.twitter.com/roo0M7JW0Q
Under the trainer’s son Jonjo Jr, the 17/2 shot looked to be travelling by far the best approaching the final flight and when given the signal, he accelerated away on the run to the line.
Soaring Glory pulled three lengths clear of Fifty Ball, with Edwardstone a length and a half back in third and Annual Invictus fourth.
Buzz in fifth was the best of Nicky Henderson’s three runners as Mister Coffey ruined his chance by hanging in the closing stages, while 11/2 favourite Cadzand failed to menace.
O’Neill admitted he thought he had a good horse on his hands when Soaring Glory won at Chepstow on his seasonal bow.
The Jackdaws Castle handler said: “After Chepstow, he fell when going too easily in a bad race at Wetherby. He was not a natural jumper and Yogi Breisner did a lot of work on him.
“It’s great to win a race like this and we thought ‘let’s have a go’ as novices often do well in it.”
O'Neill suggested the winner could run in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle. “He’s entitled to run in it and Jonjo is riding with loads of confidence. He’s super cool and he does the job right.”